The 2013 World Pride Power List was unveiled today and GLAAD National Spokesperson Omar Sharif, Jr. was named to the prestigious list. The nominations were gathered from across the globe in an effort to categorize the most influential LGBT people in the world. The full list was published in association with The Guardian newspaper, which also released an exclusive supplement on the morning of London's Pride event.
Ellen DeGeneres earned first place on the list. Other notables include Jane Lynch, Chaz Bono, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Sir Ian McKellen, Jessie J, Jason Collins, Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, and Adam Lambert.
This week Omar spoke with CBC News (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) about Wednesday's landmark victory for equality as the Supreme Court struck down a key section of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" and restored marriage equality to California with the end of Prop. 8, and the culture changing work GLAAD has done and must continue doing. Check out the interview below.
Last year, Omar published a letter in The Advocate, in which he came out as gay and half-Jewish and questioned the new Egyptian government’s commitment to basic human rights and diversity. He then faced a barrage of condemnation, criticism and threats of violence. In his words, "Most of this negativity was spurred on by the Arabic media’s demonization of my gay identity. […] Last year, when I came out, I did not simply find my voice; I found my purpose. With that purpose came a sense of urgency and a responsibility to advocate on behalf of those still silenced by fear or repression."